Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

Miles per pound (mpp) Miles per pound (mpp)

Reliable fuel consumption data for comparison purposes is not available for this model.

Fuel economy

A more stringent standard for fuel economy (WLTP) was introduced from September 2017, and this model was not required to undergo that test. Its fuel economy measured under the previous test system was 31 - 34 mpg. However these figures are less likely to be achievable in real world driving and so should never be compared to another car's mpg which was measured under the newer, more realistic WLTP system.

Let’s make one thing clear: as great as the efficiency strides are made for this model, BMW M3 running costs are not going to be inexpensive.

Inevitably this is a car that’s going to be driven with enthusiasm at almost every opportunity so while the official fuel consumption claims – 32.1mpg for the manual, 34.0mpg for the M-DCT automatic – sound great, real world driving, with a dash of vim and vigour, is likely to see a figure in the mid-20s become more normal.

More useful are the relatively low (for a sports car) CO2 emission figures of 204g/km for the manual and 194g/km for the automatic.

Also be conscious that tyres will cost significantly more than regular 3 Series rubber, as well those very expensive ceramic brakes if you need replacement discs.

Servicing the M3 is also a more specialist job than a lesser 3 Series so expect them to be required more often and be more costly too.

While BMW M3 emissions weren’t at the forefront of its engineering team’s mind when they designed the car, the rate of CO2 escaping from the exhaust can’t be ignored. When you consider the power and performance on offer, it’s mightily impressive that the M3 can be had emitting less than 200g/km of the gas.

It’s aided by the new M3’s lighter weight, with carbon fibre and aluminium for some body panels, as well as stop/start, gear change indicator and energy harnessed from braking too.

Judging BMW M3 reliability this early in the model’s life is tricky but we do know that BMW has an excellent reputation for reliability and longevity, including where it’s used turbocharged engines in other models for over two decades in the UK.

Plus the new M3, and closely-related M4 models, will have covered tens of thousands of development miles before the engineers signed them off as being production ready.

Some may raise concerns about the reliability of the M-DCT automatic gearbox but other manufacturers have built similar transmissions for years without significant issues and it’s unlikely BMW would risk tarnishing its reputation in this area either.

All the switchgear felt robust while the overall build quality was excellent too. We’d be very surprised if the new M3 gave anything less than years of bulletproof service, providing it’s looked after.

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £305 - £475
See tax rates for all versions
Insurance group 45
How much is it to insure?